Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Civil engineering, Architecture engineering, Construction engineering, Municipal and structural engineering

Publication Details

Hore, A., McAuley, B. and West, R. (2019). Centres of excellence and roadmaps for digital transition: lessons for Ireland’s construction industry. Proceedings of the 4th CitA BIM Gathering, Galway, 26th September, pp 247 - 255.


Like most sectors in today’s working world, construction businesses are challenged to work in an increasingly digitised world with sophisticated demands from intelligent clients. So much has been written about the inefficiencies of the construction industry, its fragmentation, lack of collaboration, low margins, adversarial pricing, poor productivity, financial fragility, lack of research and development, poor industry image and relatively weak use of digital solutions. The Irish government recognises the importance of digital innovation to address many of the challenges the construction industry faces. With recent high profile reports of escalating spend on signature public sector projects and weak productivity performance in the sector, the Irish government is seeking out new strategies that will help create improved value for money for publically funded projects including stimulating economic growth and competitiveness in the sector. One such approach is the creation of a new Centre of Excellence for digital construction to help encourage both the government and industry to work together to create a more agile and innovation-rich sector, create jobs and improve project outcomes for public sector projects. In this paper, the authors will examine the current context surrounding this recommendation, in particular the vision of Ireland’s National BIM Council to instigate the formation of a national central resource to support the rollout of digital tools and processes in Ireland. This paper serves mainly as a relatively highlevel early desktop study that will document the missions and activities of particular international exemplars of such centres. The paper also seeks to potentially influence representative groupings in Ireland that have been charged with the responsibility of recommending to the Irish government the likely implementation model and funding mechanism that will help drive a sustained transformational programme for the Irish construction industry. The authors did not seek to consult with these stakeholders directly in preparation of this paper given the ongoing consultations at governmental level taking place in mid-2019.